National Institute for Urban School Improvement
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Educational Quality

  • Assessment and Testing: Measuring Up to Expectations. ERIC Digest
    As a result of increasing pressure from external constituencies, community colleges have been called upon to demonstrate accountability through assessment activities and research on institutional effectiveness based on student outcomes. Since community colleges include transient student populations, students with a wide range of ability and academic goals, and large numbers of adjunct faculty, assessment should focus on the improvement of campus instructional and support programs to increase student success, rather than on national comparisons.
  • Colloquium on Student Achievement in Multicultural School Districts: Keynote Address
    In educating diverse students, the emphasis should be on what teachers do to make children succeed. Poverty and culture are not impediments to learning, but the quality of service children receive can be an impediment.
  • Dare We Criticize Common Educational Standards?
    Offers a critical discussion on the issue of educational standards by (1) clarifying issues surrounding educational standards, (2) critically examining the assumptions underlying popular discourse about standards, and (3) offering and arguing for an alternate perspective based on democratic ideals. Discusses the impact of this on classroom teaching.
  • Early Childhood Education Program Expectations: Standards of Quality.
    In 1999, a task force was appointed to develop early childhood education (ECE) program expectations or standards for New Jersey's ECE programs. The standards were based on the task force's review of research, curricula, standards, and guidelines developed by local boards of education, other states, and professional organizations; feedback on draft standards from various professionals; and three regional focus groups.
  • Excellence and Equity Issues in Art Education: Can We Be Excellent and Equal Too?
    Asserts that the dialectic between excellence and equity in art education is generally expressed as an "either/or" situation. Argues that curricula and assessments can be designed to challenge artistically talented students and also serve the needs of all students.
  • Excellence in Schools and Racial Equality: A Collage of Responses to the White Paper by Gillian Klein Centred on the Critique by Robin Richardson
    Presents extracts from critical responses to the 1996 White Paper entitled "Excellence in Schools" which pointed out educational deficiencies, racism, and overall poorer education for minorities and ethnic groups within the U.K. educational system.
  • From Rhetoric to Reality: Opportunity-to-Learn Standards and the Integrity of American Public School Reform
    Focusing on national policy and practice, this paper suggests key recommendations for consideration in the context of standards-based reform, including: produce teachers who are multiculturally literate; re-assess ability grouping and tracking practices; reduce K-3 class size and elementary and secondary school size; expand and improve federal compensatory education programs; and incorporate school reform into broader social reform. (SM).
  • Global Education as a Strategy for School Improvement
    Outlines the processes, and some of the obstacles encountered in promoting global education within the schools. Identifies the most prominent obstacle as competing demands for time and resources.
  • History Curriculum Face-Lift. Quebec Report
    Reports on a 1996 Ministry of Education study on the teaching of history in Quebec. Criticizes the study for perpetuating leftist biases in favor of multiculturalism and globalization while censuring the study of Western civilization as evidence of Eurocentrism.
  • Markers of Multicultural/Antibias Education
    Contends that creating a program that reflects diversity and equity is an evolving process. Presents common markers whereby programs can judge individual levels on the multicultural and antibias education journey.
  • Quality Assurance and the South African University System: Defining the Impact of External and Internal Trends on the South African University System and Its Quality
    Examines the influence of a number of factors on quality assurance in the South African university system, including a new national system for standardizing training, national quality assurance initiatives, a new proposed role for universities, the shift from a monocultural to a multicultural educational environment, trend toward mass higher education, increased access to education, and a new government-university relationship. (Author/MSE).
  • Raising Achievement for Asian Pupils
    Analyzes why ethnic minority groups, such as Asians, are achieving marginal academic success. Analysis of the management, pedagogic, curriculum, resource, and community issues indicates what political guidance might be effective to help improve academic achievement.
  • Reinventing Early Care and Education: A Vision for a Quality System
    Although early care and education have gained some momentum in recent years, shortfalls in quality are still pervasive. This book defines the elements of a high-quality system and suggests strategies for improvement.
  • Stop Standing on the Baby! Spirituality and Education
    Demonstrates that even very young children are capable of abstract thought and expressions of their own spirituality, and argues that spirituality can and should be a part of the educational curriculum. The author suggests that spirituality in education, if nurtured, enhances the educational experience and helps the child fully develop as a human being.
  • Teacher Education's Responsibility to Address Diversity Issues: Enhancing Institutional Capacity
    Preservice teachers must be prepared to address substantial student diversity and to educate all students to higher levels of understanding and competence. Many teacher educators are not competent to prepare new teachers in this area.
  • Ten Points of Debate in Teacher Education: Looking for Answers to Guide Our Future
    Introduces a theme issue by examining 10 dichotomies that describe concerns marking contemporary teacher education in the U.S.: quality versus quantity, majority versus minority, preservice versus inservice, campus versus school site, time versus money, specialization versus generalization, theory versus practice, professional versus public, information versus myth, and long-range versus short-range. (SM).
  • The Culture Wars on Two Fronts: Curriculum and Financing
    A college professor who sometimes appears as a guest on a local radio call-in program discussing contemporary higher education, talks about the nature of the changes occurring in the college curriculum and student population, multicultural education, teaching styles and objectives, trends in access to a college education, and the financial crisis facing colleges and universities. (MSE).
  • The New Basic Agenda: Policy Directions for Student Success
    In response to the rapidly changing environment of the state of California, the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges (CCCs) developed the Basic Agenda in 1991 to convey the vision of the state's community colleges and provide broad direction at the systemwide and local levels.
  • The Transformation of the Teachers' Role at the End of the Twentieth Century: New Challenges for the Future
    Rapid global changes have transformed education for the elite into mass education, resulting in the following: new teacher responsibilities, less educational activity by families, mass media access to learning, multicultural education models, change in the social worth of education and status of teachers, fewer resources for education, decline of authority and discipline, and teacher overload. (SK).
  • Urban Schools Rethink Themselves: Developing Instructional Skills in the Process of Change
    Explores aspects of professional development within the Accelerated Schools model and suggests ways to realize teacher's potential for strengthening the mediational skills that are critical to quality education. Additionally, examines examples of the impact on teacher performance and of training that promotes research and inquiry.
  • Using Our National Diversity as an Educational Resource
    Provides personal perspectives, both from a teacher and her students, on issues of multiculturalism and diversity. Recounts a number of incidents that illustrate some of the trickier aspects of multicultural education ("How do you feel about arranged marriages?").